Live Nation and its Ticketmaster subsidiary are officially facing another class-action complaint from a shortchanged Swiftie who was unable to secure pre-sale passes to the Eras Tour.
Kirkland, Washington-based Michelle Sterioff just recently submitted the firmly worded action to a California federal court, and DMN obtained an exclusive copy of the 34-page-long filing. It’s hardly a secret that Live Nation has grappled with far-reaching pushback – from lawmakers, customers, activists, and Swift herself – in the wake of the Eras Tour fiasco.
More than a few Taylor Swift diehards were unable to obtain pre-sale tickets to the artist’s forthcoming concert series, and Ticketmaster ultimately called off the tour’s public on-sale due to “insufficient remaining ticket inventory.” Meanwhile, it came to light at the height of the controversy that the Justice Department had launched an antitrust investigation into Live Nation and Ticketmaster earlier in 2022.
Now, Sterioff has formally accused Ticketmaster of intentional misrepresentation, common law fraud, multiple antitrust infractions, violating California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), and more.
According to the straightforward action, Sterioff initially missed out on Taylor Swift tickets despite purportedly participating in the TaylorSwiftTix Presale and the Capital One Presale. The plaintiff says that she was ultimately “forced to purchase tickets through an alternate secondary ticketing service provider after” Ticketmaster nixed the public on-sale.
And the “‘face value'” of these secondary passes “was based on the monopolistic prices charged by Ticketmaster in the prior transaction,” per the suit, which then expressly accuses the defendant entities of abusing their market position to extract additional income from unwitting fans.
“Defendants’ dominance over the primary and secondary ticketing services markets has allowed Ticketmaster to dramatically increase its revenues by allowing it to levy monopolistic fees on the second (and third, etc.) sale of the same ticket(s) it sold in the primary sale,” the legal text spells out, echoing in some ways a different class-action suit that Live Nation and Ticketmaster were named in at 2022’s start.
“Ticketmaster intentionally and knowingly misled millions of ‘verified’ fans into believing they would be able to purchase tickets during the TaylorSwiftTix Presale,” the document continues. “Ticketmaster ‘verified’ over 3.5 million fans and distributed access codes to approximately 1.5 million fans.
“Each access code allowed the purchase of up to six tickets, meaning the 1.5 million access codes could be used to purchase up to 9 million tickets. … Ticketmaster intentionally provided codes and verified fans when it knew the available ticket inventory could not satisfy this demand,” the action proceeds.
Digging into the specific allegations at hand, the suit maintains that the aforesaid purported violation of the CLRA caused members of the class (everyone who bought stateside Eras Tour tickets) to suffer “injuries caused by Ticketmaster because they would not have paid money for monopolistically-priced tickets had they known of Ticketmaster’s misleading conduct.”
Next, the intentional misrepresentation claim concerns Ticketmaster’s allegedly misleading “statements about the available quantity of tickets, how to get tickets, who would be able to participate in the TaylorSwiftTix Presale, and the price of tickets.”
Lastly, the fraud claims extend to “economic losses and other general and specific damages, including, but not limited to, the amounts paid to purchase overpriced tickets, and any interest that would have accrued.”
At the time of this writing, Live Nation didn’t appear to have responded to the class-action suit on social media. In its Q3 2022 earnings report, the Beverly Hills-based promoter touted what it said was its “highest quarterly attendance ever.”